Near neighbours and rivals they may be, but Manchester United and Liverpool are on two different footballing trajectories at present.
Interestingly, however, both are being linked heavily with the same player by well-placed sources, according to Jan Aage Fjortoft.
Speaking on his official Twitter account, the Norwegian, standing pitch side at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, told his followers that Jadon Sancho could be off to United… or Liverpool.
Where will Sancho play next season?
I asked two “insider – journalists” here in Dortmund that question.
They were both very clear!!
One said Manchester United
The other one said Liverpool
— Jan Aage Fjortoft ???? ?? (@JanAageFjortoft) February 29, 2020
“This very experienced journalist came to me and said “Jan, you must know that people in and around the club say he will go to Manchester United,,”” Fjortoft said. “Manchester United are very close to him, they’re following it (the situation) tight and they expect him to play at Manchester United next year.”
Sancho, who will only turn 20 towards the end of March, has proved his talent beyond doubt, and has been one of Dortmund’s key players in the 2019/20 campaign.
A goal against Freiburg on Saturday was his fourteenth of the Bundesliga season, per WhoScored.com, who also note the wide man has 14 assists.
That kind of output would certainly help to take Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to the next level, but Jurgen Klopp could beat him to the deal.
Fjortoft then turned his attention to another journalist “from one of the biggest papers in Germany,” and his perspective on a Sancho transfer was entirely different.
“No, no, no. Sancho will go to Liverpool,” the journalist is alleged to have said. “[…] Manchester United is in for him as well and there are four or five big candidates of course, but he thought that because of the friendship between Klopp and this club, they will prefer him to go to Liverpool. So, he said, imagine if you have four or five candidates that more or less will pay the same, they will kind of let him go where they have their friends.”
It’s an interesting choice of words.
Regardless of the fact that Liverpool are riding the crest of a very successful wave and United can only try and persuade the player with their future ‘project,’ to believe that a club may try to steer a player to a club of their, perhaps rather than his, choosing, suggests that relationships rather than cold, hard cash, still oil the wheels in transfer deals.